In the October 25th issue of The New Yorker, Our Lady of Art Deco Typeface delivers Tad Friend's dramatic account of one couple's struggle against the 200-mph menace that is threatening their pastoral lifestyle in Orinda, California - that tiny ("semirural"!) town eight miles North of Oakland where that one friend of yours might be from. Depending on how you feel about organic suburbanites, Sport Utility Vehicles, White Guilt, illegal immigrants and gas-powered garden tools in general, the piece (which includes the wonderful phrase "death metal sur l'herbe") is either a pleasure to read or just a caricature of some obnoxiously short-sighted Orindans.

The author's portrait of the anti-leaf blower figurehead Peter Kendall is especially comical, as the 53-year-old retiree stands on his deck overlooking Lake Cascade (built to irrigate a nearby golf course) armed with high-tech NIMBY gadgets like a laser range finder and a decibel meter to spot blowers up to a thousand feet away.